Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Most High God - Daniel 1:8-16

Previous: Daniel 1:3-7 

Daniel 1:8-16 (KJV)
8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.
11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.
16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.

Remember that Daniel and his three friends had been taken as captives to Babylon. They had been placed in the care of Ashpenaz the head of the eunuchs. Immediately, it seems that the young men were presented with a problem. What food and drink would they be given (verse 8)? They were to receive a portion of the king's food and wine. Daniel says that the king's food would defile them. Why would this be? In the first place, the Jewish people had strict laws about what they could and could not eat. (See Leviticus 11.) Secondly, some of the food could have been offered to idols. So the young men did not want to be disobedient to God, but how could they disobey their captors? According to verse 9 how did the prince of the eunuchs feel about Daniel? The prince loved and favored him. When Daniel had asked him if he could avoid being defiled, how did Ashpenaz respond (verse 10)? He was afraid that Daniel and his friends would not look as healthy and well-fed as the others. He was afraid that that action would endanger his own life. What is Daniel's challenge to Melzar, the person Ashpenaz had set over the four young men (verses 11 - 13)? He suggested that for ten days the four would only be fed pulse and would have only water to drink. What is pulse? This term refers to legumes and their seeds. After the ten days Melzar would determine how well the young men thrived. Does Melzar go along with this test? Yes. How did the young men look after the ten days (verse 15)? They appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the other children. What did Melzar do then (verse 16)? He took away the king's meat and wine and gave the four pulse and water.

Next: Daniel 1:17-21

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